5 Steps from RFP to Award

Five key steps from when you issue a RFP to when you Award. The following RFP infographic provides a basic summary of the chain of events which often transpire when you are required to issue a request for proposal for a product or service. Some of these steps and the amount of time required to properly issue, evaluate and award a RFP are often underestimated. Hopefully, this graphic on the 5 steps on the RFP to Award process will provide some useful insight when it comes to the process.

RFP Infographic

5 Step Summary – FROM RFP TO AWARD

Step 1 – A need is identified and SOW provided

All companies, regardless of size, that are making the effort to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) are doing so because they have a need for a product or service and are looking for proposals from qualified suppliers to assist with this need. This requirement typically comes with clearly defined specifications. With a Statement or Scope of Work defined the group should now collaborate on the development of the RFP.

Step 2 – Invite suppliers to your RFP

Identifying a list of competent and qualified suppliers to invite to bid on your RFP is often the most important part of the whole RFP process. Some companies prequalify suppliers prior to issuing the tender, some depend on experience or history from past projects, while others depend on recommendations from colleagues. Regardless, of how you put together your vendor list, this is not one area to short cut.

Step 3 – Question and clarification period

Important to remember that the more detailed your SOW is the fewer questions and clarifications will surface during the response period. The benefit of a detailed SOW is you will receive more accurate quotations as unknowns will not be factored into cost.Typically, three to four weeks is given for a RFP response depending on complexity and whether site visits are required.

Step 4 – Evaluation of responses

Okay, now you have all these proposals or responses from your bidders. What’s next? Some companies use what is called an evaluation matrix. In it, areas like commercial terms are scored and used to justify an award. Basically, you are reviewing proposals in depth and shortlisting the responses you feel are best suited to your project requirements.

Step 5 – Award

With your evaluation complete, you are now ready to issue an award. Some companies use an award letter and PO, while others use a letter of understanding (LOU) followed by a contract.  Remember to issue rejection letters to unsuccessful bidders. Contract monitoring and hopefully a successful completion to your project. This is a very basic overview and summary of the typical chain of events which occur when issuing a RFP. Check out our website for more details on buyer and supplier solutions like sample RFP’s, response letters and any other forms you might be searching for.

If you have found this information to be useful, please consider sharing this infographic on the 5 steps from RFP to an Award.

 

How effective are your RFP’s?

How Effective are your RFP’s?

That is the question and unfortunately many professionals do not have this question on their radars. They often roll them out the door not truly realizing how ineffective they are.

Request for Proposals are quickly becoming the go to procurement form. They are on the rise because more and more companies are using them for all kinds of project work. Whether this is the right form they should be using for the task at hand is another blog post altogether! In this post we are going to focus on how to improve the effectiveness of your RFP which will help you produce the desired results and how to write a RFP without spending extensive amounts of resources.

To get right to the point, you will save time, money and energy if you focus your efforts on the content you include in your RFP. Increasing and including the correct content will increase its potential for success.

What determines the effectiveness of the RFP you have spent hours developing?

  • Is it the number of questions your supplier’s ask during the response period? YES, if you are getting lots of questions then the Statement of Work is not detailed enough.
  • The actual number of quality vendor responses received?  YES, responding to a RFP is expensive and vendors will put in the effort to provide a quality response if the deliverables are clear. A win for both parties.
  • The prices quoted by your vendors? YES, this will be a factor. If your RFP content is clear the quoted prices will reflect this. Removing unknowns will reduce costs.

RFP for LTL Freight Services

RFP for LTL Freight Services:

truck_servicesSelecting a freight broker or transportation service provider is one of the most important decisions you will make for your organization.
Why? Because in the event orders are not delivered on-time you will have potentially lost a customer if you are a supplier and if you are a buyer you could be in for production delays which equate into profit loss. Like it or not freight shipping services can make or break your business and they are an integral part of the supply chain.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics in the USA reported that the trucking and transportation market on a typical business day ships approximately 43 million tons of merchandise, valued at about $29 billion, moved almost 12 billion ton-miles on the nation’s interconnected transportation network.  These statistics imply the significance this industry sector has in regards to transporting our goods. In fact, if it is shutdown for any period it can cripple a country and your business.

Designing a request for proposal for Less than Truckload (LTL) services might include some of the following details:

More Sample RFP Forms

RFP Samples:

Very few purchasing professionals will admit they enjoy the task of writing a RFP, we would much rather dedicate our efforts to the negotiation process, closing a deal or other areas which justify our existence.

Save yourself the stress and your employer the money by utilizing one of the many RFP and RFQ sample templates in one of our bundles. RFQPro provides more sample RFP Forms than any other online provider as a service to both our procurement and supplier clientele.

RFQ45 – RFP is another sample template form and it can be used for software services. Here is a brief look (page 2 and 3) or preview of this 10 page RFP template.

Sample Expression of Interest Form

Expression of Interest

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is used to gauge interest from potential suppliers for a project you have on the drawing board or hope to tender in the near future. By issuing an EOI, you are given the opportunity to pre-qualify vendors capable of completing the work under the restrictions or specifications outlined in your proposal.

Is an EOI similar to or the same as a RFP (Request for Proposal), RFI (Request for Information)? Basically, yes they can be construed as being the same, with the exception of the potential legal ramifications so seek counsel or legal advice to ensure you understand how issuing any of the above will impact your company in the country, state or province you operate your business in.

RFP Examples

RFP Examples:

Write a RFPThe phone is ringing or you are in meetings most of the day so when will you find time to write a quality RFP which will garner the appropriate responses?  Overtime is not a viable option and developing templates from scratch can  take 10 hours plus, that is if you are not interrupted and proficient in all the appropriate lingo. Ten (10) hours @ $20.00 per hour —— approximately $200.00 to develop a single RFP document!

Our premium pack has 90 plus templates

RFP – What is it?

Request for Proposal – RFP:

What is a RFP and how and when should a procurement professional utilize it. A Request for Proposal (RFP) is an invitation to Vendors to submit a written offer to supply services or a solution to a requirement.

So, you have an internal need or requirement and there is nobody qualified in the organization to manage the requirement or possibly resolve it. You need to outsource the job and now might be when your employer requests you issue a RFP.

The RFP is then written to illicit positive feedback, therefore, needs to be designed professionally and must clearly identify the actual work you are hoping to farm out and the expectations.

More specifically, it is written to ensure suppliers don’t assume the entire risk. In manufacturing, this might mean the buffering of raw materials and finished goods to meet the final demand for goods. In a services type RFP, it should ensure the consultant has a clear indication of the amount of time and or resources he or she is expected to put into the project.

A RFP is different than a Request for Quote (RFQ). With a RFQ the Vendor can be certain as to the supply risk. For example, like having enough capacity to ensure supplies and goods at the right quantity, quality, time, and cost. We need 12 pairs of leather gloves and here is the part number. This RFQ is straight forward and comparing costs are for the most part simple. A RFP is not necessarily so cut and dry and quite often asks the Vendor to propose a solution.

Okay let us get back to writing the RFP. The Buyer will need the Vendor to define the specific monetary and/or service obligations which make up the offer. It is the Purchasing departments job to make the RFP available to several suppliers to respond with a competitive proposal or a solution to your request.

What to include – the Request for Proposal should include a short but detailed description or specification of the products or services which are required. This can also be identified as scope. As with many business writing efforts, an effective request for proposal will begin by declaring the purpose for the document. Even the most casual of formats for a RFP will incorporate details of this nature. In comparison, a highly structured format informs the applicant precisely how to arrange data in a manner that is certain to have significance to the issuing business. So, it is vital to be clear on the scope of work and try not to cloud the document with legal terminology. In other words, leave all the legal terms to the end of the document as this might deter recipients or quality vendors from offering. The higher the risk the more terms and conditions might be required but again not all RFP’s warrant forty pages of legal requirements.

VOIP RFP

VOIP RFP:

Looking for a VoIP RFP or a Voice over Internet Protocol – Request for Proposal? VoIP systems usually interface with the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) to allow for transparent phone communications worldwide.

VoIP can be a benefit for reducing communication and infrastructure costs by routing phone calls over existing data networks and avoiding duplicate network systems. Skype is an example of a notable service provider having achieved widespread user and customer acceptance in this industry.

Benefits of Using VoIP

VoIP technology uses the Internet’s packet-switching capabilities to provide phone service. Packet switching allows several telephone calls to occupy the amount of space occupied by only one in a circuit-switched network. With VoIP, a 10 minute phone call may only occupy 3.5 minutes of transmission time at a lower cost of 64 Kbps or about half that of conventional systems and this does not factor in data compression which further reduces usage or size of each call.

RFQPro has a RFP template which may help with your VOIP proposal. For a few sample pages of the content in this RFP please click here>>> Preview Telecom VoIP RFP

To Purchase this 18 page (RFQ59), our second VoIP RFP template (RFP81-28 pages) and other RFP’s in a Microsoft Word format please visit the Special Offers Page or click the Buy Now button for the Premium or Mega Pack in the margin.

When to use a RFP versus a RFQ

Using an RFP versus a RFQ:

This is a good question and one we hear often. We will try our best to provide a simple answer to help you make an informed  decision when performing your purchasing duties. This scenario surfaces when you are faced with generating a purchasing document to send to your suppliers.

Documents issued by the Purchasing group can be an RFQ (request for quote), RFI (request for information), RFP (request for proposal), or ITQ (invitation to quote), IFB (invitation for bid) or others.

A RFQ is usually used when the Owner knows exactly the type and quantity of goods it wants to buy while RFP’s ask bidders to provide a solution to a problem that could be solved in different ways.

An example of when to use a Request for Quote (RFQ) would be if you are buying 100 each Toshiba Laptop Computers c/w 2 GB ram, 100 GB HD, DVD Burner, Windows 7. You know your exact requirement and have a specification to include or issue with the request.

An RFP might be used if you were unsure as to whether you want to purchase, lease, rent  those same 100 computers with varying specifications for software and hardware requirements that may differ from PC to PC. This gives the bidders an opportunity to offer a solution to your requirement.

With the above in mind, it should be noted that evaluating a RFQ is usually easier than trying to determine an award from the results of an RFP.

RFP | RFQ Sample for Business Computers

RFP and RFQ for Business Computers:

RFQ_Business_ComputersHere is a sample RFQ template which can be used for the solicitation of quotes for the purchase of business computers or computer hardware and training from your suppliers. At a minimum, a request for quote should cover the invitation component, the bid form, specifications and a set of terms and conditions. This sample template provides coverage for all these specific areas and more. If you are looking for other sample templates, we recommend you peruse the premium or the mega pack offers. Using a single template will cover the cost of the complete package.

Download sample RFQ for business computers in Microsoft Word Format >>> RFQ29 – RFQ Computers